Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Condo Brief Tentative Settlement Reaches Nearly $1 Billion

scheduled tribe. Petersburg, Fla. ( Associated Press) — A nearly $1 billion provisional settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit brought by the families of victims and survivors of last June’s condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, a lawyer said Wednesday.

During a hearing before Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Heinzmann, Harley S. Tropin announced a $997 million settlement. Still pending final approval, the settlement involves insurance companies, developers of the adjacent building and other defendants.

Earlier this year, Heinzmann approved an $83 million settlement to compensate people who suffered economic losses, such as condominium units and personal property. An important question from the very beginning has been how to allocate funds from the sale of property, insurance proceeds and loss from litigation between wrongful death cases and property claims.

The 12-story Champlain Towers South Condominium suddenly collapsed in the early morning hours of June 24, destroying nearly dozens of individual condo units and burying victims under tons of rubble. Rescuers spent weeks digging through the concrete mountains, first to find survivors and later to retrieve the remains of those who died. A total of 98 people were killed.

Champlain Towers was in the middle of its 40-year structural review when it partially collapsed to the ground.
Champlain Towers was in the middle of its 40-year structural review when it partially collapsed to the ground.

The main lawsuit, filed on behalf of Champlain Towers South victims and family members, argues that work on the adjacent Eighty Seven Park Tower damaged and destabilized the Champlain Towers building, which was in dire need of major structural repairs. Champlain Towers was in the middle of its 40-year structural review when it partially collapsed to the ground

The collapse triggered lawsuits from victims, families and condo owners, as well as state and federal investigations. In December, a Florida grand jury issued a long list of recommendations aimed at preventing another condominium collapse, including earlier more frequent inspections and better waterproofing.

The condominium building was located in Surfside, a city just north of Miami Beach. The little-known enclave includes a mix of old houses and condos resembling the collapsed towers built for the middle class decades ago, and more recently luxury condos attracting the wealthy. It includes former first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who live around a block north of the collapsed condo.

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